Star Trek: Voyager
"Body and Soul"
Air date: 11/15/2000
Teleplay by Eric Morris and Phyllis Strong & Mike Sussman
Story by Michael Taylor
Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"We're both reasonable people. I suggest a compromise. Your vessel will escort us through Lokirrim territory. That way you can keep an eye on us, make sure we don't reactivate our holodecks. The other alternative is, we destroy your ship." — Janeway-style negotiation
In brief: Enjoyable. Not deep, and the plot is primarily a means to an end, but there's nothing really wrong with that.
It looks like it's that time of the year — time for the highest of high concepts. "Body and Soul" has what must be one of the most brilliantly simple high concepts in many a moon. How is it nobody on Voyager's writing staff thought of this episode before now? And if they or someone else already had, how could they possibly have been sitting on it for so long?
In the tradition of shows like "Infinite Regress," the story is this year's edition of Jeri Ryan Uninhibited. Ryan is an actor afforded few opportunities on Voyager to go bananas, but when she gets one, look out.
The basic premise is something so goofy and yet somehow so plausible that it makes perfect sense: Doc's program gets transferred into Seven's mind, and Doc takes over her body. The net result, essentially, is that Jeri Ryan plays the part of the Doctor. She gets Robert Picardo's role, and runs with it.
Something like this can be very good or very bad. Executed badly, it can be an embarrassment. Played correctly, it can be a lot of fun. "Body and Soul" is largely an example of the latter. Seven of Nine is so self-inhibited that you wonder if Ryan would get tired of the character's limitations. Perhaps an opportunity like this might seem like a vacation at work.
Of course, something like this could not happen because the characters wanted it to happen, so we have the plot force our characters into a situation where they must improvise the measure. In this case, it seems that the Delta Flyer has wandered into a territory of space inhabited by the Lokirrim, where holograms are assumed to be hostile members of a rebellion (they are referred to as "photonic insurgents"). Of course, I must ask why it would be assumed by any reasonable society that all holograms are automatically insurgents when they could just as easily be technology attached to those not involved in the conflict (as in this case). For that matter, why assume that just because certain biological materials could be used to make bio-weapons, they necessarily will? Because such an assumption must be used to justify our characters being taken prisoner, that's why. No matter; we can grant the story these silly details in the interests of its premise.
So the Delta Flyer is tractored into a shuttle bay and Harry and Seven are thrown into the holding cell on a Lokirrim vessel. Unbeknownst to the Lokirrim crew, Doc has actually been uploaded into Seven's mind to hide. If he's caught he'll likely be decompiled. Hmmm — in a society where holograms have apparently taken on a subculture of their own, there's no trial or hearing, and simply on-the-spot execution? Perhaps that's part of the problem with Lokirrim society.
Never mind. It's perhaps best to put such questions on hold, since similar themes may resurface in the upcoming "Flesh and Blood," a storyline two episodes down the road that will involve holograms as a central issue. For now, "Body and Soul" concentrates on the idea of Doc taking over Seven's body.
Some of this is quite funny. Take, for example, the cheesecake scene. One might not think that eating a piece of cheesecake could be the source of so much amusement, but here it is, simply because the person experiencing the consumption of cheesecake has never eaten anything before. And even worth a smile is the reaction of Ranek (Fritz Sperberg), the captain of the Lokirrim ship, upon tasting this cheesecake (apparently it truly is a good piece of cheesecake), which is the first of several bribes Doc/Seven feeds Ranek in an attempt to gain his trust.
As for the drunk scene — well, I'm always a sucker for a good drunk scene, and when you consider that Ryan is playing the part of Doc and then adding on top of that the fact Doc is drunk and trying to carefully manipulate Ranek, you've got yourself a situation that's as entertaining as it is silly, with layers to it that would require an actor be brave to underplay, and even braver not to.
Ryan's performance is not one that holds back in favor of subtlety. She goes for broke. And of course she does, because that's the point. Doc's persona is built upon outgoing expressiveness, cheerful narcissism, and sudden ventures into melodrama. It's fun to watch because of the weirdness of the given situation, and fun because we try to picture Picardo playing the same notes, and realize that he pretty much would be. Doc isn't subtle, so therefore neither is Ryan's performance. But it contains a working knowledge of the full extent of Doc's body language and speech patterns, and on that level there are subtle nuances to note. The rendition is excellent.
Doc is having a blast experiencing life in a real biological body, right down to the simple sensation of breathing air. The catch, of course, is when he learns that Seven has been aware of everything he has done while occupying her body. When he returns to his mobile emitter several times through the episode, she expresses her displeasure regarding his "overindulgence." This eventually leads to the best character discussion in the show, when Doc answers with a counter-argument. Given the circumstances, I'm with him: "We're quite a pair. Me, trapped by the limitations of photons and force fields. You, by a drone's obsession with efficiency. You'd make an excellent hologram." Life includes stopping to indulge yourself, otherwise what have you enjoyed when it's all over?
Oh, yes — Harry has the part of straight man to the lunacy, playing for reaction shots to Doc's personality as magnified through a situation that has Doc even more exuberant than usual.
Do you care about the plot? I'm not sure whether it's a credit or a demerit that the writers decide to play the alien plot more or less straight. Granted, it's not the least bit heavy, but nor is it completely irreverent; the writers permit a halfway serious issue involving the nature of holograms in Lokirrim society to creep into the narrative. Such scenes ground the scenes respectably in a normal reality. This episode could just as easily have gone for zero seriousness and been a comic role-playing free-for-all. I honestly don't know if that would've been better, worse, or neither.
But what we have isn't bad. The Lokirrim people are not depicted as one-note villains and instead more as people trying to do their jobs and follow the rules, screwed up as those rules might be. And it's nice that the resolution ultimately comes down to an agreement and some respect.
In the meantime, worked into the plot is a would-be romance, where Ranek tries to put the moves on Seven, much to Doc's dismay. The idea is obvious but mildly amusing — though wouldn't trying to woo your prisoner be a court-martial offense for a starship captain?
The other key interaction here is between Doc/Seven and Jaryn (Megan Gallagher), one of the ship's officers. Doc obviously has a bit of a crush on her, though the whole idea seems like an afterthought.
Really, the whole story could've been an afterthought. This is the sort of show that is more concept than content. What happens is far less important than how the actors convey it. It's a like a technical experiment. It is not inspired — and given the premise, it could've been — but it's at least entertaining.
There was a Voyager episode a few years ago about body switching called "Vis A Vis." It was a superficial, mechanical bore. Given the right situation and actors, a high concept like this can be fun. "Body and Soul," while hardly groundbreaking, works as a solid hour that should keep you interested in the dynamics on display.
Next week: Harry Kim takes command. Uh-oh.
Previous episode: Inside Man
Next episode: Nightingale
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87 comments on this post
Fri, Feb 22, 2008, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 24, 2008, 2:40am (UTC -5)
Wed, May 21, 2008, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 25, 2009, 2:32am (UTC -5)
Fri, Sep 4, 2009, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 9, 2009, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Sep 10, 2009, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Mon, Oct 12, 2009, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Dec 21, 2009, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
All in all, this is a perfectly decent episode.
Fri, Jul 16, 2010, 10:30am (UTC -5)
I liked the quote at the top by Janeway. Could it be she's de-wussified at last?
Anyhow, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I can't think of a single scene I found insipid, cliched, annoying or superfluous. 3.5 stars at least though I'd go as far as to recommend four!
Wed, Apr 6, 2011, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
However as the two stars of the show, the melding of the Doc and Seven was a lot of fun. Got to give it a break for that.
Funny how in the previous episode we were reminded of Ace Rimmer - in this episode I'm reminded of Red Dwarf for the second time in a row, specifically an episode from around Series 2 where the hologram Rimmer takes over Dave Lister's body and overindulges (and many of the jokes that went with it). Voyager writers certainly importing some inspiration this season :)
Wed, Apr 6, 2011, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
Wed, May 4, 2011, 5:17am (UTC -5)
Sun, Dec 4, 2011, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Also, Tuvok being satisfied with a holo-wife? Please...
Nice nod to the "Amok Time," TOS episode with Tuvoks wife little speech though...
Wed, Jun 27, 2012, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Funniest moment: The Doctor's darting eyes as if looking for an excuse when Seven accuses him of becoming sexually aroused while in her body...COMEDY GOLD !
Sun, Dec 9, 2012, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Dec 10, 2012, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Still, fun ep.
Tue, Feb 5, 2013, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
I wouldn't be suprised if Neelix intercommed the whole ship and informed them not to go into Holodeck 1 because Tuvok is unleashed a Holo load.
Tue, May 21, 2013, 6:11am (UTC -5)
Wed, Jun 5, 2013, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
"Not that it's any of your business... but if you must know *Ranek* kissed *me*."
That line made me laugh out loud! Gotta love Doc's narcissism :) As though Ranek was uncontrollably attracted to his personality, not Seven's body. Brilliant!
And I'm sure the previews had a field day with this line:
"You became aroused in *my* body!"
Oh Ms.Ryan... If you meant *BY* your body, then guilty as charged.
There were just so many nice touches in this episode.
The Doc 'indulging' and then leaving Seven to endure the hangover and upset stomach.
Janeway's face when she realizes she's talking to the Doc, inside Seven's body.
And of course, the cheesecake scene.
Ryan and Picardo are two of the show's strongest actors and both shone here.
Definitely one of the best light-hearted Voyager episodes, along with Fair Haven.
Sat, Jun 15, 2013, 11:11am (UTC -5)
The unremitting heterosexuality does make it all seem eternally retro though. No matter where in the galaxy you go, or when, everyone is straight? Characters like Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Torchwood seem far more plausible, if a bit....excessive. Every creature he meets makes him randy ;)
Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Though, in thinking about it, Vorik had started that imprinting bond thing on Torres so that might be why the hologram wasn't enough in that case. Tuvok has long been bonded with his wife, though, so you'd think that a hologram would be just as unfulfilling and empty to him as it was for Vorik. Meh, I'm putting way too much thought into it. I did feel kinda bad for Tuvok in any case, with everyone all up in his business.
Anyway, yes...great episode. I couldn't stop smiling throughout and I loved the ending. Nice to see Seven finally blossoming here before the end of the series.
Thu, Aug 22, 2013, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
2. it was so great that Jammer forgot about he B Plot.
3. Leah, you answered your own question about Vorik.
4. I think they had to address the Pon Farr or all the continuity geeks would go crazy.
5. Jeri Ryan absolutely nailed the doctor. inflections and body language.
6. Jonathan Baron. you are nuts. Just because everyone is gung ho about homosexuality doesnt mean it is very common. i think it would be ridiculous to have episodes focus on it. plus, you can always watch the borefest of a TNG episode where Riker falls in love with the asexual alien.
i guess this should be 4 stars. Jammer, Michael, Ken AND Cloudane all liked the episode!
Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Never mind the freshness of the plot using the "body swap" trope and I found this to be 44 minutes of a slickly paced near-masterpiece in what it's trying to accomplish.
As usual, VOY takes Vulcans to a new level - Tuvok often comes close to beating Spock as the best Vulcan ever, but this episode puts in much tact for Pon Farr and his controlling it. Using the holodeck for romance has been done so many times in TNG, et al, that a practical use for Tuvok is more of a relief than a creepy gross moment -- anyone recall a person named Minuet that Riker fell for in "11001001"? Great story, but his asking her how far things could go was really -- ewww...
As a non-heterosexual, some dialogue was carefully chosen (e.g. why the lady's brother would not care for the doctor - the doctor being a "photonic".) And it didn't offend me - most heterosexuals, even those that are supportive of GLBT people will react with discomfort on a personal level.
If anything, it bothers me that a species is so anti-hologram that it will go after anyone or anything with such technology, without being bothered to listen. The Voyager and crew are not in their realm of space... yet at the same time, Earth's own history is replete with such examples of prejudice.
As for the TNG episode that deals with test tube babies, it would have been a GLBT allegory only if the asexual alien was a male (not female as demonstrated in that story...)
Sun, Sep 29, 2013, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
On Earth, homosexuality occurs in a number of species, some even forming long-term homosexual partnerships and raising young (Albatrosses). Why wouldn't it also be so in the rest of the galaxy?
If you think homosexuality is a recent fad, you are sorely mistaken... It has been common across cultures, time periods, even different species throughout history, and Trek's avoidance of it is one of its most serious oversights.
But I agree with DPC, the dialogue was tactfully chosen, and about Tuvok too.
But yes, brilliantly played by Ryan.
Sun, Oct 13, 2013, 11:23am (UTC -5)
Enterprise was a disaster when it went down that, TNG got the Q comedies down to a *ahem* Q but had some serious misses along the way with the likes of episodes centered around Trois' mother, DS9 had its un-steadiness too with great banter alongside terrible Ferengi humor and TOS had its comic highlights but made the mistake of ending episodes on lame jokes despite whatever serious intelligent themes where handled merely moments prior.
This episode demonstrates how well handed Voyager is when dabbling with the amusing, minus Neelix of course! Smart, balanced, witty, expertly crafted and never dull; Jeri Ryan and Robert Picardo help make this an absolute delight! There's fantastic chemistry and character work amongst the laughs, its a sheer pleasure watching these actors work their magic.
I'm impressed, its one of those rare gems when I imagine re-watches only add to the enjoyment. 4/4 from me!
Sat, Dec 21, 2013, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
@ Azcats: It's not because you have a problem with homosexuality than the rest of the galaxy should as well. The fact that 99.99% of Aliens we encounter are two-gendered and only heterosexual is one of the things that make Star Trek improbable. (That and the humanoid-differentiated-only-by-facial-ridges debacle).
Nobody asks a "special episode about homosexuality". But I would certainly have liked at least one LGBT regular character in the series. Just as I enjoy having such a diverse racial crew (even though I'm white!). It's simply a question of reflecting real life.
Mon, Feb 3, 2014, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
The only downer was Harry, who was his usual bland self, spouting out his usual bland, throwaway dialogue.
Seven and Doc made a great team... I always thought they should have ended up together by the end of the series, it made the most sense on several levels.
Mon, Feb 10, 2014, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
I am very conservative so the amount of gender-bending stuff in this episode was just right for me - funny, enjoyable, but not awkward...I was really hoping they wouldn't distract the audience from a funny, lighthearted episode by taking it in another direction and "pushing the envelope". I did chuckle during it and say, "I guess the Doctor was programmed to be heterosexual!"
Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 12:13am (UTC -5)
Bravo Jeri ryan-but I still think you have too many episodes.
And to quote Robert Picardo from 2008 convention: "Body and Soul? Where I am inside Seven of Nine but not in a fun way?" buahahaha.
Fri, Sep 26, 2014, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 16, 2015, 7:50am (UTC -5)
Mon, Jan 25, 2016, 2:12am (UTC -5)
Again, is this Doctor running a retardation subroutine?
P.S. Jammer, why didn't you mention Tuvok's Ponn Far and him blowing his load inside a hologram? It's these important little things that make Star Trek worth reviewing.
Wed, Feb 3, 2016, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 12, 2016, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Vote now: Caitlyn Jenner as the next Star Trek captain.
"Janeway to Equinox crew. - Cleanup in Holodeck 2"
If Doc can "make an addition" to his program to have sex as stated in "Message In A Bottle", why can't he add tastebuds?
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
I can't help feeling the Pon Farr B-story was something of a sop to the fans who have been counting down to the 7 year point - it certainly wasn't essential to the story and felt underdeveloped.
"I'm impaired" indeed. 3 stars.
Wed, Mar 30, 2016, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 12, 2016, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
First of all, I do feel the need to point out something that SFDebris mentioned, that is just so clear once you realize it. Seven spent her entire life trapped with someone else controlling her, and this was never mentioned? Not even once? The episode failed to give any sympathy for Seven again being brainwashed by another entity and forced to do things she didn't want to do. Yes, she was understandably pissed by it, but her anger was played for laughs. And played as a lesson she needed to be taught. Yes, the Doctor abuses her throughout the episode, forcing her to be assimilated into his collective (yes, I realize the two situations are different, but the end result is the same, and could be particularly traumatic for Seven given her past) and she is the one that needs to learn a lesson and be sympathetic to the Doctor's situation? Bull! This episode butchered Seven's character in favor of some cheap laughs, or at least attempts at cheap laughs.
Speaking of which, what's with that lesson? You should like what other people like? There's Star Trek's famous pursuit of tolerance and openness, everyone. Seven must conform to like the same things as everyone else, or else she's defective and less than human. Yeesh.
Oh, whatever. Don't think too much, right? After all, I think everyone agrees the plot is paper thin. This is a comedy episode, enjoy the ride! But, um, it's not funny. Or at least I didn't think it's funny.
Is it original? Of course not. The situations EMH7 was put in were the exact same situations you would see in any juvenile "guy trapped in girl's body" would do. Oh look, EMH7 almost played with his boobies, teehee! Oh look, he's weirded out by a guy hitting on him, teehee! Oh look, he has to seduce a guy for the plan to work, teehee! Are those really funny? If humor is supposed to be about the unexpected, then it certainly failed miserably, since those are all tropes we unfortunately expect as soon as this dumb idea comes up.
And even the twist that it's an AI experiencing this stuff doesn't help. Ooh, he's overwhelmed by food, wow! Didn't we already see that in Generations? At least that movie gave us something slightly unexpected and humorous by having Data think his drink tastes awful, rather than the dumb cheesecake routine here. Yeah, this episode loses out in terms of both humor and originality to Generations.
Oh, but is it just about Jeri Ryan doing a Picardo impression? Well, ok, her over-the-top performance was smirk worthy... for the first minute or so. There's a reason most impressions that people do are short, because after a while it loses its humor. And this was an entire episode of Ryan performing a caricature of the Doc. Cute for the first minute, not so special for the rest of the episode. Definitely not enough to carry an entire episode.
Meanwhile, well, time to just get right out and say it. I am getting really, really sick of this EMH. The last couple seasons anything interesting from him has been excised in favor of flanderizing his arrogance, narcissism, and selfishness. He's not funny, he's not endearing, he's not even sympathetic anymore. He's just an insufferable jerk. I would hate to be around him if I was on Voyager, and I simply do not like seeing him on the screen anymore. I know, he's everyone's favorite character. And for a few seasons, he was interesting. But his attitude just completely grates on me these days. The obnoxious arrogance far exceeds any comedic value he has. I mean, at least in Virtuoso and Tinker Tenor he was chagrined and humiliated for his narcissism. But here, he cringes for a few seconds before justifying himself and yelling back at Seven for daring to be upset that he's using her body as his own personal toy. He doesn't even wait until he's out of Harry's sight before getting that smug smarmy grin on Seven's face after getting placed back in her body. Ugh... if the random alien of the week's holograms acted like he did, I can't blame them for going to war...
As for the Pon Farr bit, well, I'm just glad that they acknowledged it and moved on. I don't think there's any way that they could turn that into a good storyline, and the fans would be questioning why it never happened if they didn't do it. So thanks for mentioning it, and good riddance.
Wed, Apr 13, 2016, 8:36am (UTC -5)
I'm normally in lock-step with you on your reviews but not this one.
I was having too much fun to think it should or could have been "deeper". This is one of those episodes that is just enjoyable. I don't think to far past that.
I will agree about The Doctor though. He does wear thin for me if he get too much screen time. I kept thinking during season's 6&7 that he needed to "grow up".
Thu, Apr 14, 2016, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
I alluded to it briefly, but that scene just after the second time he got downloaded into Seven really got to me. So, he leaves Seven's body, and Seven reveals that she knew everything that went on and she was absolutely pissed at him (and rightly so). The Doctor is appropriately apologetic and promises to restrain himself. So Seven nobly agrees to allow him to enter into her yet again.
Now, at this point, the EMH knows that A) Seven can tell everything he does, and B) she detests this arrangement completely. And what does he do immediately after getting downloaded into her? Gets this big stupid grin on his face, like he's so pleased with this arrangement. Tell me, if what you are doing is making someone you supposedly love extremely uncomfortable, would you still enjoy it? Because I sure wouldn't. And yet here he is, still grinning away. Still chatting with anyone who would listen how awesome the Doc is and how lucky Seven is to know him. Still prancing around having the time of his life. Not embarrassed about the situation in the slightest. Sorry, I just couldn't find that to be funny.
Wed, Jun 22, 2016, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
Understand. I sort of look at it like watching your kid run into a puddle and telling them not to get their feet wet :-)
Kid: Well I'm going to get yelled at anyway :-)
I don't give this one a 4.0 because the holodeck pon-farr exercise didn't work with Vorik did it? Now it's "fully functional" with Tuvok? But hey, Spock didn't need to get it on either. He just fought Kirk, right? (I'll admit, it's been at least a decade since I've seen Amok Time)
I never skip this one, it's just too much fun. My young teenager watched it with me and couldn't stop laughing.
3.5 for me.
Wed, Jun 22, 2016, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 3:38am (UTC -5)
1. Tuvok seemed to show amusement and a smirk/laugh/grunt when talking to Paris. (Does he like Paris more than he lets on when he's not compromised?) And he does it when you'd think he would be at his least tolerant of him.
2. "The Doctor" purposefully giving that captain the cheesecake slice he'd already eaten some off of so that he would have a new whole slice to himself. That was a hilarious small touch. He was completely overcome by gluttony, but he still had the presence of mind to do that.
@Kieran. Okay, I managed to get through the episode without wondering but you forced me to now. Thanks!
@TRIP Now you're doing it! Oh...God.
Thu, Aug 25, 2016, 12:17am (UTC -5)
The rest is pretty fun though. I just dislike Tuvok's Pon Farr being used as such a throwaway storyline. He should have been the main character in Vorik's earlier episode instead.
Thu, Sep 1, 2016, 6:12am (UTC -5)
Sounds about right for modern society.
Sat, Sep 24, 2016, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Sun, Nov 20, 2016, 5:04am (UTC -5)
I've always enjoyed the doctor. Sure he's a narcissistic jerk, but to me it seems that he's totally oblivious of his jerkdom. George Costanza was similar but he's still one of my all time favourite characters.
But we all have characters that piss us off. It's a shame for you that yours gets so much screen time.
Jeri Ryan = amazing.
Tue, Feb 14, 2017, 1:22am (UTC -5)
It was amusing that Tom came up with the idea, and it would work. Holograms feel real and certainly sex would have always been one of their most frequent uses, just like the internet and porn go hand in hand. I did love Tuvok saying "is that what you tell your wife".... great burn.
Ryan nailed playing Picardo. It really was impressive.
Fun episode all around. Harry as usual is cut off at the knees and looks useless.
Wed, Apr 26, 2017, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
This one was a joy. Love seeing Seven play difference characters. :)
Mon, Aug 7, 2017, 12:25am (UTC -5)
The episode was sort of funny. Sort of stupid. Mostly pointless.
2 1/2 stars
Fri, Sep 29, 2017, 11:06am (UTC -5)
Many people are celebrating an abuse.
It is supposed to be funny but looking at it, it is just a from of abuse.
Seven was never asked to do these things and was totally against them.
The doc once again is an egomanic not taking anyone's feelings into account. Which is the one thing he is always accusing others of.
Oh and by the way abuse is what seven calls it...I did not have to find a strong word here.
Since they got the doc's emitter there had been no need to accommodate him in seven... Still...the solution of a merger of the two is preferred.
I will never get why people forgive the doc's transgressions... As if it was just funny and charming.
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
"Great episode! Ryan and Picardo are clearly the stars of this show, and that's a combination of great acting coupled with very interesting characters".
I couldn't agree more.
The opening scene: just watch Seven's facial expressions as Doctor talks about the creation of life: 5-star job by Ryan. I laughed through the whole sequence just looking at her face as she listened to the Doctor.
Next best revelation: Jammer completely omitting the B-story of Tuvok's Pon Farr in his review. That was a first, and I was fine with that too :))
Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Interesting that given what's going in today's world with so many examples of sexually inappropriate behavior, we get the inappropriate sort of sexual innuendos between the Lokirrim captain and 7. But all that's in a comedic sense - I doubt "Body and Soul" is meant to be prescient. There's plenty of misplaced romances going on in this episode but it all works out in a nice package.
As for the B-plot of Tuvok and the blood fever -- that proved to have a bit of a comedic flavour to it in the end with the joke about Tuvok's wife's ears. But the holodeck usage was another plot device to get the Lokirrim pissed at Voyager and move the plot along.
As for the Lokirrim -- another humanoid species but purely created to serve the comedic purposes here; can't really take them seriously. And that's the reason they can't be less humanoid in appearance, which would be more realistic, for me.
A strong 2.5 stars for "Body and Soul" -- good episode for 7 to let loose and conveniently worked out in the end which is in keeping with the light-hearted nature of this episode. Voyager does pull off some decent comedies.
Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
What I think hurts the episode is the unacknowledged ickiness of the Doctor's total command over her body given that he is 1) her doctor, 2) her tutor, 3) secretly in love with her. The episode avoids (3), which is maybe wise in some ways, but it does make his presence within her body more uncomfortable. I think a braver take would be to go for this head-on and acknowledge that he gets a kind of thrill specifically about temporarily having full possession of the body of the woman he's crazy about, and for him to then have guilt about it -- the recognition that this is an awful, creepy situation, one which he actually kind of likes, and yet one which is still forced on them partly via circumstance and is the only way for them all to survive. I can imagine backlash to this -- people should never "be in possession of" another person's body, ever, and the idea that it's necessary for survival could be used as a bad-faith justification in real life -- but basically I think that this situation really is exceptional. Really, while I like Someone to Watch Over Me, I feel like the Doctor's feelings for Seven never really went anywhere and added a weird undercurrent to his role as her tutor which could have been interesting, if explored, but as is just sort of remains a background worry that never gets dealt with.
Anyway I often like to think of real-world analogues to what we see depicted in Trek episodes, but this still strikes me as more of a fantasy idea -- how we could maybe change people's lives if we could walk in each other's shoes, and experience what each other experience.
As for the stuff about photonics -- it certainly ties in with the season arc involving holograms, and in some ways the Doctor's behaviour in Seven's body betrays some of the fears that people have of giving too many rights to oppressed people. The Doctor runs the risk of abusing personhood if he really gets all of it, and might get some at the expense of another person. But ultimately the Doctor is still mostly well-meaning. The comedy of errors stuff is moderately amusing.
The Tuvok subplot: I guess in a seven year show, they'd have to deal with this eventually, but remember how Vulcans need a psychic connection with their loved one? Maybe they should honestly have just had Tuvok succeed in meditating rather than sleeping with a hologram of his wife. I am amazed that the show had Tuvok's "Is that what you tell YOUR wife?" to Tom actually go through the editing process, though; there is some coyness about how far people go with holograms and I'm always uncertain how much we're supposed to assume. And of course, because Holographic Rights are the big can of worms, there are some open questions here, which are especially notable in an episode specifically concerned with a people who oppress holograms, even though for now that's a means to an end. More on this later maybe (in Flesh and Blood or Author, Author, perhaps).
It's frothy and has some uncomfortable undercurrents, and the subplot doesn't really work, but I think it's an amusing show overall. 2.5 stars.
Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Sep 8, 2018, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
I found it entirely unbelievable that Seven could withstand endless personalities in Infinite Regress and still make appearances, but that one EMH matrix would totally suppress her personality from the outset. But they needed that to be the case for the ensuing "hilarity".
Thu, Nov 8, 2018, 10:40am (UTC -5)
Seems to be all about life, and what life is (body, soul), and what makes life worth living.
So many cute and funny moments. Well done by all.
Thu, Nov 8, 2018, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
--Seven voluntarily let Doc use her body, given the situation they were in. Doc is overwhelmed by the newness of all the sensations, though the worst he does, in abusing the privilege, is give her a tummy ache. I had zero problems with it.
--The "Ponn Farr in the holodeck" B story fit with the theme of what it means to be alive. Note that the ep begins with Doc talking to Seven about the origins of life.
Sun, Nov 25, 2018, 10:54am (UTC -5)
Fri, Dec 28, 2018, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
This may be among the best episodes all-time of all shows.
The look the Doctor gave Seven in the final seconds....priceless!
Sun, Jan 12, 2020, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
This episode deserves a million stars. I actually saw the doc for most of the show. Great acting and just pure fun. Even the potential uncomfortable scenes went smoothly. Well written and every aspect was resolved by the end.
As for Tuvok, he’s, what, 300 years or so? He may feel the effects of the “flu” more so because he’s old, but he’d have amazing control once he got with the wife. Remember, he’s not a young adult like I imagined Vorik to be.
I bet the actors had a blast filming this one. I find those feelings come through when the material is this great. Seven and Doctor characters should always feature.
Mon, Jan 20, 2020, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 2:05am (UTC -5)
Wed, Oct 14, 2020, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 9:19am (UTC -5)
))When he returns to his mobile emitter several times through the episode, she expresses her displeasure regarding his "overindulgence." ((
Should be emphasized that Seven refers to it as "abuse," while the Doctor then dismissively calls it mere "overindulgence."
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 9:21am (UTC -5)
))Does that mean there's now Vulcan spunk all over the holodeck? That's nasty.((
There's an app for that!
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 9:26am (UTC -5)
))so you'd think that a hologram would be just as unfulfilling and empty to him as it was for Vorik.((
Yes, especially for a telepathic species such as the Vulcans, for whom telepathy is even an essential part of the mating ritual (it has been heavily implied as far back as "Amok Time" that, besides physically coupling, the mating pair also establish a telepathic link), sex with a hologram (I doubt that the holo-emitters can simulate telepathic sensations / convey thoughts telepathically) ought to be quite disappointing.
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 9:30am (UTC -5)
))Wasn't ponn far supposed to happen every 7 years or so? It seems Tuvok is having his every other week...
The series has been consistent in that regard. You are perhaps conflating Tuvok's genuine pon farr in this episode with the Doctor's phantasy of Tuvok entering pon farr during a music recital in "Tailor, Tinker..."
Or you are confusing Tuvok with Vorik (the 7-year cycle of different Vulcans is, after all, not synchronized).
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 9:39am (UTC -5)
I am surprised that no one, up till now, has commented on the scene of Neelix holding a tureen of hot soup (presumably "plomeek" - since Neelix stressed that it was virtually "tasteless") up into Tuvok's face and insisting that he should eat it!
Who, watching that scene, wasn't just *waiting* for Tuvok to hurl the soup across the Bridge in rage and cry out, "If I wanted anything from you, I'd ask for it!"
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 9:51am (UTC -5)
))I suppose it's possible that the Pon Farr urges decrease with age, hence why a hologram is sufficient for the relatively old Tuvok but not for the younger Spock or Vorik. Either that, or because Tuvok already had a wife, he already had an emotional connection to someone, which Vorik and Spock didn't.((
In one scene, Tuvok EXPLICITLY states that, in contrast to the human sex drive, the Vulcan sex drive actually *increases* with age.
Also - with regards to having an "emotional" connection - Spock *had* been telepathically linked with T'Pring since childhood.
BUT: In Tuvok's case, he *had* been taking a special medicine only recently developed by the Doctor to counteract the effects of pon farr.
AND: Vorik found it more difficult to resist because he had already become "imprinted" on B'Lanna.
I assume that the holodeck can manufacture pheromones and the like which are then subconsciously perceived and reacted to by the holodeck users - but the holodeck can't interact with its users telepathically - and telepathy seems to be an integral part of Vulcan mating rituals (sort of like vocalizations and smells might be for humans).
Wed, Dec 23, 2020, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Sep 2, 2021, 12:12am (UTC -5)
By this point the Doctor had become this show's Steve Urkel.
Mon, Sep 13, 2021, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Oct 13, 2021, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
Early scenes with Seven as Doc were fun...Later on I was a little more accustomed to seeing it, but still a nice performance. I particularly liked the waltz scene and the rapport Seven-Doc established with Jaryn. Jaryn's dreamy gaze at the end of the Lokirrim sequence was a good touch, as if to say Seven-Doc will really be missed.
Tuvok's ponn far ended up beingva distraction and did little for me (too much fake sweat) although the holodeck scene with Tuvok and his holographic wife had a certain beauty to it.
Overall 3.5 stars.
Thu, Dec 23, 2021, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 23, 2021, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
And yes, Tuvok having sex with a hologram of his wife is something only Voyager can get away with and work.
Wed, Mar 2, 2022, 9:37am (UTC -5)
But Seven has a complicated reaction to having been Borg. She finds some comfort in the structure and "perfection" of it. Regardless of how constrictive, it was what formed her. I would have liked to have seen some of her ambivalence, possibly even nostalgia and hating herself for it.
On the other side of it the doc should also be having some contradictory feelings. Loving being in control of the woman he loves (not to his mention mentee) body and feeling guilty at how creepy that is.
Instead of straightforwardly taking her to task for not taking advantage of all the physical sensations open to her that he's denied, it would have been more truthful for him to acknowledge what the audience subconsciously feels, why the writers didn't feel a need to explore Seven's reactions more than superficially. Namely that Seven has no concern for her body aside from maintaining its usefulness and "perfection". The doctor could complain that it's all too easy to take advantage of this; and he should *protectively* get her to care more about her physical aspect.
The final scene would have been actually touching then with an emotional payoff. The whole episode could have still been humorous, but it would have actually said something important about developing a care for your physical self. Seven is vulnerable until this is addressed (which I don't believe it ever is, unfortunately).
Fri, Apr 8, 2022, 9:36pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 8:02am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 9:38am (UTC -5)
100% true. Best thing that happened to the show was her being hired. Not only is she talented but 7 of 9 seemed to really inspire the writers. For a while at least.
Fri, Jul 15, 2022, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 10, 2023, 5:39am (UTC -5)
But I think The Doctor, and Picardo's acting, ties this episode together in a way that makes the plot meaningful. The Doctor refusing to leave to treat Ranek, while also wrapping up the romance subplot, I think gives a glimmer of hope that the Lokhirrim might recognize photonics as real people, worthy of rights and respect.
Although played for laughs, I think it's also significant Jaryn's dialogue about Seven being 'part Borg', with no fear about 'her' heritage . Perhaps in the Delta quadrant, there are other Borg separated from the Collective, enough of them that moderately large civilizations can detect and treat with them like other alien species.
In both cases, despite prejudice, there exists a possibility where people can be seen as they are, not what they are assumed to be.
I often feel that Voyager's best episodes work on focusing on a single character and exploring their situation. This is an episode that breaks that rule. It's not the best Doctor episode nor the best Seven episode, but the interaction creates something better than the sum of its parts.
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